Chile’s entrepreneurial drive continues with forum in the capital

Santiago hosts LAB4+, a three day forum promoting business development and entrepreneurship.

Some of the brightest, most innovative and business-savvy minds of Latin American have spent the last few days in the Chilean capital for a brand new entrepreneurial event.

The inaugural Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum of the Pacific Alliance aimed to promote business innovation among entrepreneurs from the Latin American trade bloc’s member countries — Peru, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Costa Rica. Established in 2011, the Pacific Alliance seeks to develop regional integration and promote the growth in the five participating countries’ economies.

December’s forum — dubbed LAB4+ — took place across three venues and featured President Sebastián Piñera, one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs in his own right. Also in attendance were business people, authors and economic experts all on hand to help out at the the free event that included a series of talks, presentations and workshops.

In one event, 20 eager entrepreneurs participated in “The Pacific Alliance Pitch Day,” presenting business ideas to panel of experts who gave them valuable feedback for streamlining their ideas as well as tips on presenting skills.

Another innovation instigating workshop was the Biz Acceleration Lab where visitors could learn how to accelerate venture and raise capital against investors.

LAB4+ wasn’t all and work no play either, brain-weary attendees were treated to performances from some of Chile’s leading musicians including singer Gepe at a the Centro Cultural Amanda on the final day of the event.

Entrepreneurialism has been on everyone’s lips in 2013 in the Andean nation. The government declared this its Year of Innovation under the slogan “Imagine Chile” and the renowned program funding program Start-Up Chile has continued from strength to strength, attracting more entrepreneurs this year than ever.

And reasons for setting up shop in the South American country are not hard to fathom — building on Forbes’ rating of Chile as one of the best to do business earlier this year, the Andean nation earned similar praise from the World Bank last month who proclaimed it the best place in the region to invest.